This study compared 3 commercially available ergometers for within- and between-brands difference to a first-principle calibration rig.
All ergometers underestimated true mean power, with errors of 27.6% ± 3.7%, 4.5% ± 3.5%, and 22.5% ± 1.9% for the KayakPro, WEBA, and Dansprint, respectively. Within-brand ergometer power differences ranged from 17 ± 9 to 22 ± 11 W for the KayakPro, 3 ± 4 to 4 ± 4 W for the WEBA, and 5 ± 3 to 5 ± 4 W for the Dansprint. The linear-regression analysis showed that most kayak ergometers have a stable coefficient of variation (0.9–1.7%) with a moderate effect size.
Taken collectively, these findings show that different ergometers present inconsistent outcomes. Therefore, we suggest that athlete testing be conducted on the same ergometer brand, preferably the same ergometer. Optimally, that ergometer should be calibrated using a first-principle device before any athlete testing block.
Oliveira Borges and Coutts are with the Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia. Bullock and Aitken are with the Australian Inst of Sport, Gold Coast, Australia.